This afternoon, I made my trip to RITM. I need to get my CBC and ask the doctor if I need to change ARVs. I am not sure where my fatigue was coming from – heat exhaustion or from my ARV. I have my 8-10 hours of sleep, I have cut down on my gimmick, I am not spending the wee hours partying anymore. Well maybe last Valentine weekend I had 2 straight nights clubbing and all but based on my body clock, I really just had a couple of extra hours past my usual bed time.

I was feeling so-so until last week. I feel tired when I wake up, after taking my meds, etc. You can usually spot me walking to work with a black umbrella and Gatorade. Lately, I’m looking pasty white. I was not sure if it was from the peeling soap and clindamycin that the dermatologist prescribed for my rash marks, or if I’m getting anemic or something. Last Sunday, my pozzie friends told me that I look pale. Little J thought that I’m wearing a lipstick. Lipstick??? People don’t wear lipsticks on summer, fashion 101. LOL.

I arrived around 330pm and Ate Ana showed me my Feb 3, 2010 CBC results. My hemoglobin count was at 100, normal is 130. What?!? I was at RITM weeks ago but no one was there except for Ate E, I asked for my records and the Feb3 CBC results is not yet on my file. It was only this morning that my CBC results was included in my records, it’s not yet stapled in my folder.
Ate Ana told me to get another CBC test. I then waited for the result in the clinic. I already know that my fatigue and exhaustion was due to my low hemoglobin induced by my ARV (Zidovudine). I may need to have my Zido changed to something else.

While waiting for the result and my consultation, I saw 2 familiar faces in the clinic. We haven’t actually met but they are friends of friends. A newbie pozie was also there with his mom. 3-4 other posies was there as well. Most of them waiting for CD4 results.

My CBC results came out….. it dropped to 63. From 130 to 100 to 63! I then made my initial consult with Dra. A. We discussed about my meds, my cbc… And then I was shocked when my ARV won’t be changed. I then asked Dra. A why my ARV should still be Zido even if, obviously, my hemoglobin is less than half the normal count.

Dra. A is one of the new Doctors in RITM. She actually is an expert on pulmonary tuberculosis but not yet on HIV patients. She and another doctor handles “light” HIV cases. I remember meeting them during my first visit. Still on training. Good thing I have my poz friends and researched about my ARVs, otherwise, I might be taking Zidu tonight and continue to drop my hemoglobin count.

Dra. A then consulted to Ate Ana… I find it weird, a doctor consulting to Ate Ana. Ate Ana said that my Zido ARV should be changed to Stavudine. But to be 100% sure, we went to Dra. D. Dra. D said that I need to change to Stavudine. She said that my hemoglobin count will normalize in a month’s time. She said I can get Erythropotein if I want faster results, but at my own cost. It’s Php 2,000 per shot. She said 2-3 shots would be good enough. I told myself I’m getting 2 shots starting Friday then Monday next week.

We went back to the clinic, I got my prescription for my ARVs, antibiotics, etc. My prescription for Erhthroprotein. And then I asked for a medical certificate. I need to rest this week. I really can’t stand the heat. And with my Anemic status, I don’t want to just collapse in the middle of EDSA and be on the tabloids.

“Baklang Anemic, hinimatay sa MRT.”

The 2k/shot is not an issue. I’m getting 2-3 shots. All I want is to feel better. I owe it to myself, my family, my friends… and of course, my fans. LOL.

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